Mount Vernon Continues To Add Affordable Housing Units

The Daily Voice
October 21, 2013


MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – In their continued efforts to provide affordable housing for low-income families, Mount Vernon officials celebrated the grand opening of the Zion Court Apartments.

The recently renovated complex will include four one bedroom and 24 two-bedroom apartments. They are designated for low-income families, with six two-bedroom apartments reserved for Section 8 tenants.

To qualify for an apartment, residents must be at less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income. Section 8 qualifiers, whose rents are subsidized under the federal program, must earn less than 30 percent of the AIM.

One-bedroom apartments will be rented at $760 per month, with the other units ranging between $909 and $1,144 each month. There will also be nine off-street parking spaces for tenants.

“The rehabilitation of this long empty property will not only provide families with homes, but will help breathe new life into a once vibrant area of West Fifth Street,” Mayor Ernest Davis said.

“When people have homes they can be proud of, that pride is reflected in how they keep and treat their neighborhood.”

The project was developed by the Greater Centennial Community Development Corporation, an arm of the Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church, which has been a Mount Vernon fixture since the late 1800s.

“Any real estate development is a good thing. Mount Vernon thrives more each month,” Manny Ruiz said. “This is just another example of the city trying to help the people who need it the most.”

The re-development of the location was made possible through a $5.7 million loan from the Community Preservation Corporation, which was taken out by the New York State Pension Funds.

“This loan for Zion Court Apartments will make a difference in the lives of some Mount Vernon families and will keep the New York State Common Retirement Fund strong,” state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said at the opening.

In a statement, Doug Olcott, the senior vice president of the Community Preservation Corporation, said that the apartments fill a big need in Mount Vernon.

“CPC is committed to revitalizing communities like Mount Vernon where housing needs stem from the high cost of living, aging housing stock and infrastructure,” he said. “Though the need for decent affordable housing in Mount Vernon continues to be great, 28 families now have quality, stable homes to call their own.”

Members of the community were pleased to see one less dilapidated building, and expressed happiness that the real estate project has reached its conclusion.

“Mount Vernon has its fair share of abandoned or uninhabitable buildings, it’s nice to see the city doing something about the problem,” Roger Griffith said. “Most importantly, it gets people off the streets.”